Known for its long history, Barcelona has always been a center of architecture and art in the world. This city represents a mixture of a lot of cultures and civilizations, which have contributed to the development of a unique style of architecture different from the rest of Spain.
The development of Barcelona’s architecture
Barcelona’s architecture dates back to the Neolithic era and some details from the Bronze Age can be detected in monuments and buildings discovered in the 20th century. The main styles were Renaissance and Baroque, coming from Italy and France. The 19th century saw significant growth in art and architecture and the 20th century brought fresh ideas and modern perspectives. The influence of international architecture and the principles of urban planning and ecology have made Barcelona an award-winning city in Europe.
La Sagrada Familia
The Basilica La Sagrada Familia by Antonio Gaudi is by far the most important landmark of Barcelona. It has been under construction since 1882 and it is not expected to be completed soon. The creator of this breathtaking structure did not live long enough to see the completion of his masterpiece so, having in mind that materials and styles change through time, the basilica may not look exactly like what Gaudi had in mind. Anyhow, La Sagrada Familia is an amazing example of the late Gothic style in Spain and it is definitely a must-see.
Santa Maria del Mar, a stunning church with an amazing rose window, should be your next stop. On your way, you will have a chance to see the unique design of Gaudi’s Casa Mila and Casa Batllo as well as Casa Amatller designed by Puig and Cadafalch.
The Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
At the top of Mount Tibidabo, there is a neo-Gothic temple designed by Enric Sagnier. This temple is actually a blend of Roman and Gothic architecture and it features an amazing statue dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The journey to the top of this mountain is certainly worthwhile as the view from the top is spectacular.
Parc de la Ciutadella
The Parc de la Ciutadella is ideal for going for long walks, relaxing and enjoying nature. It is the greenest area in Barcelona where you can find museums, a zoo, the Catalan Parliament, Castell dels Tres Dragons, the winter garden Hivernacle, and the greenhouse Umbracle. This park is an example of modernism and a mixture of different styles and techniques.
While you are there, you should visit the Park Güell, another Gaudi’s masterpiece, the most unusual park in Europe.
The impact of contemporary art can be seen all around the city. By intertwining stainless steel strips, shaped like a goldfish, the symbol of post-Olympic Barcelona designed by Frank Gehry, Barcelona’s Peix (Fish) is something you should not miss by any means.
Other sites that are impossible not to notice due to their fascinating design include the Torre Glories, also known as Agbar Tower, the Barcelona Design Museum, and the Media-TIC building.